May 17, 2023

3 to 6 Months: What to Expect

Jane Magnani
Jane Magnani
3 to 6 Months: What to Expect

Your baby is out of the newborn stage and shows more control over their arms and legs. They are becoming more aware of their surroundings and want to interact with the world around them. Seeing the transformation that occurs in the next few months is exciting!

Remember all children are unique and they all develop at different times and at their own pace. So know that if your baby is not doing the same things as your friend’s baby, that is OK!


  • Your baby now has approximately 36 oz of milk a day (5-6 bottles). If your baby breastfeeds, they will still feed frequently at this age. 

  • If you are breastfeeding, try to leave your baby with another adult for a couple of hours between feeds while you have a rest. You could also try expressing milk so that someone else can feed them while you have time or return to work.

  • The Department of Health recommends introducing solid foods when your baby is six months old. If you feel your baby seems hungrier than usual and younger than six months, they may be experiencing a growth spurt. You can offer them more milk feeds.


  • Babies can still sleep for 14 to 16 hours a day at this age. However, your baby is probably sleeping less now and having more periods of alertness during the day.

  • You might find that your baby is getting into a more settled sleeping pattern for extended periods at night.

Personal, Social, and Emotional Development

Making relationships

  • Stops crying when they are picked up or comforted by cuddling or your touch

  • Your baby starts to differentiate one face from another.

  • Smiles and is more responsive to others.

  • Your baby enjoys playful interactions with familiar people and maintains eye contact.

  • Uses sounds to interact socially.

Sense of Self

  • Your baby enjoys copying your facial expressions and mimicking the sounds you make.

  • Explores the world around them using all their senses.

  • Generally happy when not hungry or tired.

  • Enjoys exploring their body using a variety of movements.

  • Shouts to attract attention.

Understanding Emotions

  • Explores the world around them using all their senses.

  • Begins to show an increasingly range of feelings and responses.

  • Can calm with experiences such as rocking, touch, and soothing sounds.

Physical Development

Moving and Handling

  • Your baby has discovered their hands and moves them around in front of their face, watching and enjoying movements.

  • Enjoys finger play and toe games.

  • If placed in their hand, your baby holds a rattle or other objects for an increasingly time.

  • Sits with aid and uses hands for support.

  • Begins exploring rolling from back to tummy and tummy to back.

  • Reaches for nearby toys while on tummy.

  • While lying on their back, your baby uses both hands to play with their feet.

  • While lying on their back, your baby can transfer a toy from one hand to the other.

Health and Self care

  • Generally happy when not hungry or tired.

  • Your baby makes their needs known through crying and body movements.

  • Gets excited when they see a milk bottle or mum's breast, beginning to enjoy and anticipate feeding times.

Mother breastfeeding baby

Mother breastfeeding baby

Communication and Language Development

Listening and attention

  • Listens to everyday sounds raising their head when sounds attract their attention.

  • Listens and responds when spoken to by a familiar adult by making sounds and body movements. 

  • Notices toys that make sounds.


  • Begins to use consonant sounds in babbling, e.g. "da, da, da" and "ga, ga, ga."

  • Uses babbling to get attention.

  • Makes different kinds of sounds to express feelings.

  • Makes laughing sounds.


  • Your baby loves watching your face, gestures, and movements, and they are beginning to explore contextual cues, such as familiar gestures and sounds.

  • Your baby vocalises in response to playful interactions with familiar adults.

  • Smiles when being talked to.

What to look out for:

Remember that each child is unique, and they all develop at various times and at different rates. So, if your baby isn't doing the same things as your friend's kid, give your little one time! Your little one may be finding the following skills challenging:

  • Doesn’t show affection to parents or caregivers.

  • Won’t respond to nearby sounds.

  • Doesn’t laugh.

  • Has a hard time getting things into her mouth.

  • Doesn’t make vowel sounds.

  • Seems too floppy or too stiff.

  • Can’t roll over in either direction.

  • Doesn’t attempt to grab objects nearby.

If you are concerned about your little one, seek help from your GP or health visitor. No matter how small your concern is don’t let it linger in your mind, ask for help.


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